Teacher diversity continues to receive increased attention in educational research, highlighting experiences of teachers of Color. Despite this attention, teachers of Color are rarely seen as contributors to educational research. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a distinct increase of anti-Asian hate crimes due to many people blaming the deadly virus and aftermath on all Asians. The purpose of this study was to examine the lived experiences of a Chinese American teacher in graduate school during times of heightened racial reckoning and unrest within the Asian American community. Using an autoethnographic approach, a timeline was constructed with events, later turning into memos, from three separate categories. One memo from each category was selected to develop into a vignette that was analyzed for overarching themes. Findings included the inextricable nature of the separate categories creating a metaphorical braid, the importance of validation, the internalization of the Model Minority Myth, and the delayed racial identity development as a result of Asianization. Understanding the lived experience in this study means to understand that teaching is a "whole person"job, the roles that allies and support structures have, and that racial identity is continuously developing. Possible implications from this study include creating intentional community groups for teachers of Color and teacher candidates of Color, and additional explicit opportunities for racial identity development in teacher preparation programs. This study may contribute to research focused on teachers of Color, specifically Asian American teachers, during times of racial reckoning and increased visibility. This study highlights the experience of an Asian American teacher in a field where the stories from Asian American teachers are often missing.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Teacher Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Asian American teacher, teachers of Color, autoethnography, racial reckoning